He collected rocks.
“You can’t collect rocks,” she said.
He raised the left eyebrow, a trick he’d developed after weeks of practice when he was 14 and, by his own admission, self-absorbed.
“Unlike now?” she said, her feeble attempt at sarcasm or was it humor?
But that was long ago early in the . . . .what? relationship? a word they both eschewed and the avowed reason for not being on Facebook. Neither could bear the thought of filling in the blank, “in a relationship with _____________. So they were digitally invisible, virtually not there, cloud-free and that’s the way they liked it. Total agreement.
But rocks? Just so much gravel to her. Inert. Dirty. Undistinguished. Anybody can pick up a rock.
“The origin of the earth. The story of the planet. Each one old, solid.”
“What about mica?”
“It’s a mineral, not a rock, a sheet silicate mineral.”
“And the difference is?”
“All rocks are made up of two or more minerals, but minerals are not made of rocks.“
He had more to say, much more but she didn’t encourage him. It was enough to know that mica was not a rock, and that she wouldn’t be sweeping up shards of mica for the rest of her life. She loved him in spite of his geological obsession, but his birthday was coming, and she was stumped. What to get a guy who has rocks on his bookshelves instead of books, lined up by size, shape and formation: igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic? What to get him that he didn’t already have?
She laughed out loud when the answer came to her. A rock. The premier rock. The best rock, and, yes, the most expensive rock, the rock that shouted RELATIONSHIP without going near Facebook, a rock he would wear everywhere, and then, maybe, just maybe, he would get her a rock too.
© 2013 Kathleen Coskran